The world of marketing can be an unpredictable one to say the least; when it comes to the results of your business' campaigns it is often difficult to know what to expect. Without clear measurements in place it becomes almost impossible to set campaign budgets and goals, and can result in huge losses as a result.
This fact was confirmed by HubSpot's State of Inbound 2017 report, which, as is shown in the graph below, found that proving return on investment for marketing activities is currently the second biggest challenge for marketers. This statistic, coupled with the revelation that only 41 percent of B2B marketers feel that their organisation has clarity on what constitutes marketing success, demonstrates the need for companies to dedicate more resources to ensuring that their perimeters for marketing success are clearly defined; and this is where marketing performance measurement comes in.
MARKETING PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT – KEEPING YOUR CAMPAIGNS ON TRACK
Marketing performance measurement (or MPM) is the term given to the process of managing marketing resources and assessing the effectiveness of current practices in order to improve future results and maximise the overall ROI. It is vital that there are specific targets in mind as well as performance outcomes that can be accurately measured, and clear lines of accountability for each of these.
In order to carry out MPM effectively, businesses should pay attention to four key areas:
Alignment - Ensuring that all marketing activities, from customer research to campaigns, are in sync.
Analytics - Reveal trends in data in order to drive future marketing decisions.
Automation - Automated marketing tools such as those used in campaign management and business intelligence can greatly reduce manual labour and help deliver personalised experiences to customers.
Assessment - Evaluating what worked and what didn't in regards to marketing performance management.
WHICH METRICS TO MEASURE
As is evidenced in the graph below taken from the Content Marketing Institute's 2017 B2B Trends report, there are a number of different types of metrics that can be used in order to measure the success of a business' marketing activities. Although the example below pertains specifically to content marketing, these are key measurement staples that can be used across the board for all marketing forms.
Your website metrics are often the best place to start when it comes to marketing performance measurement. By paying attention to your site's traffic on a daily, weekly and monthly basis you will be able to determine which days of the week are the busiest, where the traffic is coming from, whether your site was viewed on a mobile or desktop device and what your most popular pages are, amongst many other types of insight.
When looking at your website's analytics there are several key metrics to take into account:
Overall Visits: Regularly checking the total number of visits to your website will give you a good general idea of how your current campaigns are fairing. As mentioned previously, it is worth looking at which specific days and times are the busiest in order to gauge when your target audience are most likely to be engaged.
New Sessions: This helpful metric in Google Analytics will tell you how many of your website visits have come from both new and repeat customers. This is not only useful in determining the effectiveness of your current campaign, but is also a great tool for finding out whether or not your site is appealing and/or informative enough to encourage repeat visits.
Customer Acquisition: Knowing exactly where your traffic is coming from is obviously incredibly important in order to target the top channels in your future marketing activities. Google Analytics will tell you whether the visitor came directly to your site, if they found you after carrying out a search, or if they clicked on a link from another site or social media site.
It is worth bearing in mind that simply asking your customers how they came to find out about your brand can provide useful insights that you may otherwise have missed; for example did they get your website from a direct mailer, or were they referred from a friend?
Bounce Rate: This figure will indicate the number of people who have left your site after landing on the homepage. Clearly, the aim is for your bounce rate to be as low as possible; you want visitors to spend as much time as possible exploring your site and learning more about the products or services that you offer. If you are experiencing a high number of bones on your site it could signify that your homepage needs some attention in order to entice them into sticking around.
Delving deeper into your conversion analytics can provide your business with extremely useful insight, these metrics include:
Overall Conversions: Although a conversion could potentially mean anything from clicking a link in an email to going ahead with a purchase on your site, the thing that all types have in common is that they are a desired outcome of a business' marketing efforts. Low conversion rates of any kind will need to be looked at further in order to try and determine why your target customers aren't engaging with your offerings. These metrics could be tracked on your website or through Google Analytics.
Lead to Close: This figure, in the form of a ratio, will let you know how your campaign is doing sales-wise. A high number of leads against a low number of closes should be investigated in order to check whether your marketing activities could be the cause.
Cost Per lead: Knowing your cost per lead is important when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing campaigns, as well as helping to put together budgets for future efforts. In order to work out this figure you need to first have the monthly or weekly cost of your marketing campaign, and then simply divide it by the total number of leads you have achieved during that time period.
SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS
Measuring the success of social media marketing campaigns in terms of return on investment has proven notoriously difficult for years. The problem still persists - only 38 percent of marketers agreed that they are able to measure the ROI of their social activities, according to Social Media Examiner's 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry report, as is shown in the chart below.
However, no matter which social media channels you use, they will all offer some kind of analytics. These can include daily/weekly traffic numbers, which posts were the most popular in terms of engagement and how many new followers your campaign has generated.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
Calculating the return on investment is vital in any marketing campaign as it gives the clearest picture of how successful it has been in terms of profit. If you find that your campaign has a negative ROI you will obviously need to dedicate some time to finding the causes, and making changes accordingly for your future campaigns.
ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment)
ROMI is different to ROI as it is specifically tailored to the type of investment that marketing funds require. There are two different types of ROMI:
Short-Term: Short-term ROMI is a simple metric that measures market share, contribution margin, or other revenue for every pound of marketing spent. It is a valuable tool in determining the effectiveness of each marketing activity in order to adjust and improve campaigns accordingly.
Long-Term: Long-term ROMI on the other hand, is used to determine less tangible aspects of a campaign's effectiveness, for example an overall increase in brand awareness or customers becoming more motivated to buy. This metric can be very useful in helping businesses to prioritise investments as well as distributing marketing resources in the most efficient way.
A Final Note From Global Database...
Having accurate and regularly updated metrics is an essential part of measuring the success of your company's marketing efforts. Failing to keep track of these figures, or relying on guesswork alone, leaves your business vulnerable and could very easily end up costing you money. By having a deeper understanding of the strategies and channels that are working the best for your brand, you will be able to allocate your resources in a more efficient way, as well as targeting potential customers in a way that is likely to see them become more engaged with your business.
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